With the emergence of digital and smartphone cameras, practically everyone has become a photographer, yourself included. Of course, this provides great motivation to go on trips and snap photos to add to a lifetime of fond memories. Since there is almost unlimited memory space in the digital realm, people don’t shy away from clicking as many travel photographs as they can. With this enthusiasm, the number of images people take these days can run into the thousands.
However, there is a downside to all this. And it becomes all too evident if you have ever been made to see the photo collection of a buddy or a relative who has recently been on a trip. You are compelled to smilingly view hundreds of drab, dry and repetitive pictures, some snapped unimaginatively. However, they’re not the only ones that are guilty of it, you are as well!
What is Travel Photography?
What actually qualifies as travel photography and how is it different from traditional portrait photography or even wedding photography? Well, travel photography is different and here’s why:
- Travel photography is primarily carried out outdoors in natural light, even under the harsh midday sun at times.
- It can also be indoors inside old monuments, museums, etc. This requires indoor lighting, a high ISO due to deficient light and even use of flash.
- It also involves dealing with a lot of moving objects within your frame such as people, cars, buses, etc.
Thus, in travel photography, you really don’t have much control over movement, lighting, clothing and poses to make the pic more aesthetic and appealing. Although this makes it more challenging than traditional photography, it creates a raw and natural moment in a new environment.
7 Tips to Make Your Travel Photography More Appealing
Don’t blame your lack of photography skills for your boring photos. If you simply learn photo editing skills, your worst pictures can see a new light. Let’s take a look at some of the top photo editing tools and techniques below:
With the help of a cropping tool, you can change the size and dimensions of your image to make it rectangular or square. You can also use it to cut out distracting elements from the photo to help enlarge the main subject of your photo and bring it more into focus by removing the peripheral area.
In your haste to take that perfect shot, many times you fail to keep the horizon line level in your photo. However, it can be made level by using a tool that is part of the crop tool. This enables you to rotate the image until its level. A grid will appear to help you align it accurately.
This involves making parts of an image darker or lighter than other parts. Vignetting is primarily used to make the main subject of the image clearer and brighter than the rest of the image to make it stand out. This can be reversed too, making the inner darker and the outside area brighter. This tool is mainly used for portraiture to highlight the subject’s face.
Shadows & Highlights
It often happens that when a photograph is taken, it may turn out to be much darker or brighter than we expected. The dark areas are called the shadows and the bright areas are referred to as highlights. To adjust both, there is a ‘shadow’ and ‘highlight’ tool. However, use these tools judiciously or your image may end up looking unnaturally green or purple.
This tool is used to accentuate the difference between the light and dark areas of your photo. Using it dramatically improves the visual impact since it makes the boundaries of the light and dark areas clearer. However, this tool should be used only to get the desired result, usually not more than around +20.
Adjusting the colors in your travel photograph makes it more appealing and eye-catching. There are various ways in which the image color can be adjusted. One of the fastest means is to use the ‘saturation’ tool, which changes the appearance of every color in an image, depending upon how much saturation you desire. As oversaturated images look unnatural, the key is to find a good balance.
This tool is used to ‘heal the image,’ that is, remove undesirable things from an image. For example, a pimple from a face or a distracting blur you did not intend to capture. This tool works best when you want to remove distinct, small objects that are surrounded by uniform colors, such as a pimple surrounded by similar-looking skin color or a spec of dust that was on your lens when you took the photo.
Photo editing tools have the power to transpose your travel photographs into something amazing, like those you see in the glossy magazine. Almost every image you’ll see in a magazine has been edited and retouched. To make your travel photos get noticed and set you apart from the rest, use tools like Lightroom, Photoshop or Luminar, universal all-in-one photo editing programs that have been highly rated by photographers around the world.
Digital Marketing Evangelist and Arrivedo contributor.